TV Review: “Agents of SHIELD” – “The Frenemy of My Enemy”

Written by Danielle Sing April 24, 2015

agents of shield

“Agents of SHIELD” is back this week with “The Frenemy of My Enemy”. The last few episodes there have been slower paced, but with higher tension and more complete plot lines. “The Frenemy of My Enemy” follows that same model. During the few episodes after the mid-season premiere, the plot lines moved very quickly and it creates a stark contrast to the slower plot lines now. “Agents of SHIELD” has finally got it together and everything is tying together nicely. This can only mean one thing; if you don’t watch “Avengers: Age of Ultron” when it comes out next Friday, you will be lost for the rest of this season.

“The Frenemy of My Enemy” continued on from last week’s plot lines smoothly and it was nice to finally see Phil Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) plan with Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) and HYDRA actually play out on the screen, as it was set up two episodes ago. Seeing HYDRA on screen was a refreshing break from the ‘Real SHIELD’, and I was reminded to why I liked Ward’s character in the first season. While the romance with Kara/Agent 33 (Maya Stojan) has been short lived, there is a lot more chemistry in that relationship than with his past ones with Skye (Chloe Bennet) and Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen). Brett Dalton’s performance this week made me forgive him for how awkward he was in “Love in the Time of HYDRA”.

“Ward is a psychopath, but for now, he’s our psychopath.”

This episode was very quirky and fun, mainly thanks to the dialogue and Kyle MacLachlan’s acting. Cal (MacLachlan) is very calm but you could see that he was trying to be polite to Skye and to not ruin his relationship with her. It was interesting to hear about Cal’s past and for him to be happy because it’s so different from what we’ve seen from his character before. Whether this can be considered quirky or not, it was funny for Cal to poke fun and be aware of his issues. Other examples of fun dialogue comes from Hunter (Nick Blood) with the Monty Python nod when he stated “It’s merely a flesh wound”; Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) sarcastically calling himself the Hulk; and Coulson’s cliché surrender with “Take me to your leader”.

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The Afterlife and HYDRA plot line merged in this episode, and this is main reason why the audience will be lost if they do no watch “Avengers: Age of Ultron” next week. Similar to Coulson, HYDRA has also been tracking people with powers and this shows in their ability to track Gordon (Jamie Harris). Dr.List (Henry Goodman) and Baron Von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) are the top two HYDRA agents and are both experimenting on people with powers. Gordon and Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) mention someone who has gone missing while camping, and Dr. List is shown with their corpse. In the “Captain America: The Winter Solider” post-credit scene, Baron Von Strucker made an appearance with Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who make the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) debut in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. With Coulson’s main target being Baron Von Strucker, and Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) and Lincoln being taken by HYDRA, it is possible that Baron Von Strucker could be in next week’s episode. If that does happen, it will be a direct lead into “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.

‘It’s not about sides, it’s about the truth.”

It’s hard to say how the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” film will change “Agents of SHIELD”, but if it’s anything like “Agents of SHIELD” after “Captain America: The Winter Solider” premiered, it will be a massive change. A few reviews back it was mentioned that “Agents of SHIELD” had to catch up to where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will be in the MCU and that’s why there were fast plot lines, but with the last three episode being slower, I didn’t realize they were already there. Coulson going after Baron Von Strucker and HYDRA wanting power people confirms that “Agents of SHIELD” is ready for the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.

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While so much more happened in this “Agents of SHIELD” episode – such as the pressure between May and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), and Cal and Skye’s father-daughter date – it followed the same template from the past few episodes. The plot lines were complete and built tension, but there was little action. There was some fun and quirkiness thanks to good dialogue and acting, and Ward was actually likeable in this episode. Despite the fact that high school drama influenced episode title and the fact I am starting to miss the action and fight sequences that used to dominate “Agents of SHIELD”, “The Frenemy of My Enemy” was a good episode and it will be exciting to see how “Agents of SHIELD” sets up “Avengers: Age of Ultron” next week.

My Rating: 8/10

agents of shield

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